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In the following discussion I attempt to "background" Lukacs for literary critics by placing him in the tradition of German idealist aesthetics to which he belongs. It is against this larger background that I intend to measure him here. is the expression of a transcendentalhomelessness. that the book finally appeared in English.DAVID H."5 A further problem with Lukacs' reception among literary critics both here and in England is that.3 Even Lukacs' arch-rival among fellow Marxists in Germany-Theodor Adorno-conceded that the early essay had erected "a lasting landmark in philosophical aesthetics. it was not until 1971. 52). until the 1960s. it has been via Paris and the poststructuralists (Foucault and Derrida) rather than directly from Germany. and Fredric Jameson-practically all of them fastening on Lukacs' early treatise on the novel as one of his major achievements."4 At the same time. 215). George Lichtheim. an account and critique of the German idealist tradition that lies behind it-with particular reference to Hegel. like no other form. German Romanticismdrew a close connection between its theory of the novel and the concept of the Romantic. first of all. Although he wrote The Theory of the Novel in 1915. specifically the work of Benjamin. however. George Steiner.and rightlyso. the problem of Lukacs' enormous philosophical erudition (which proceeds on the simple assumption that one has read all of Kant. Not only should this make the Theory of the Novel more accessible. and finally. Hegel. Lukacs. Goldmann. has largely been abandoned to social and political philosophers like Lichtheim. complained of the philosopher's "hairraising abstractness. Weber. when he was thirty and aspiring to a professorship in philosophy at the University of Heidelberg." as "part of the heritage of romantic and idealist thought" (p. who have little to say about his literary criticism. and a dialectician.2 and there soon followed a host of other enthusiastic critics -Peter Demetz. Rene Wellek was one of the first to take notice. for the novel. The news of his philosophical and critical talent did not arrive here." that "in a certain sense he is the last Hegelian in the grand style" (p. the year of his death in Budapest. in other words. is written "in a language that uses a pre-Hegelian terminology but a post-Nietzschean rhetoric. abstract style. Demetz has noted that Lukacs "never left the territory of classical German aesthetics. Lukacs' work has suffered the fate of most "classics": it has been more praised than read. and others). Adorno. and Auerbach. MILES Portraitof the Marxist as a YoungHegelian: Lukacs'Theoryof the Novel He was a sentimentalman. and second. even where Hegel and the Hegelian tradition have been received by English departments.' UKACS' FAME came late. My argument falls roughly into three parts: an exposition of Lukacs' work. Kierkegaard. there is the problem of his heavily teutonic. but it should also help illuminate important parts of the Hegelian tradition. with a deliberate tendency to substitute general and abstract systems for concrete examples" (p. a look at more recent novel theory in the same tradition. and de Man has also remarked that Lukacs "can only be understood in the larger perspective of nineteenth and twentieth-century intellectual history. as de Man puts it. Both Peter Demetz and Paul de Man have conceded the difficulty of reading him-the Theory of the Novel. in fact. a lifelong supporter of Lukacs. The reasons for this are fairly obvious: there is. a tradition that starts with Winckelmann and continues on down through Adorno and Auerbach. 52)-and even Thomas Mann. L 22 . Harry Levin followed by singling out the Theory of the Novel as "the most penetrating essay that ever addressed itself to that elusive subject". announcing in 1961 that Lukacs' "brilliant studies" had made him "the most outstanding Marxist critic today". Susan Sontag.
The world was vast and yet like a home" (p. a narrative shorn not only of its gods and its hexameters but also of its upper-class heroes. accordingly. a form of what the Germans call gesunkenes Kulturgut and the Russian Formalists the "rebarbarization"of a genre. in keeping with the theological. and Wilhelm Meister.9 Lukacs informs us that the problem is that ancient society was integrated and "bounded. and lonely quester-heroes. that saw him turning from the Kantianism and Platonism of his youth. Lukacs is largely concerned with exploring the contrasts between the epic mind of Homer's world and the narrative mind of his own time. In place of Achilles and Agamemnon we have Clarissa. as he himself put it later. pp. and lights no longer the solitary wanderer's path. Everything in such ages was new and yet familiar. at thirty. is a "godless" epic. is following Hegel here. in the modern novel we encounter a weary lot of romantic wanderers. and in 1916 he published the essay separately-as it now stands-in the Zeitschrift fur Asthetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft. From then until the 1930s. in 1973. The second half of Lukacs' study is dedicated to a meditation on the historical journey of the novelistic mind. a degenerate offspring of Homer's sublime art. a book.7 Lukacs. 29). the goodly Parson Adams. and heading toward the riper Hegelianism and Hegelian Marxism of History and Class Consciousness (1923). The sentence actually reaches back beyond the romantics to Winckelmann's famous Thoughts on Imitation (1755). although notes for it were discovered posthumously. 591]). and thus the book on Dostoevsky never appeared. Using a terminology derived from Kant and Schlegel. M. Dostoevskian strain of his study. Lukacs actually wrote his treatise on the novel during 1914 and 1915 in Heidelberg. Soul and Form (1910)." or middle-class. and the novel hero becomes emblematic of this suffering. epic. Starting with Hegel's distinction between "mind" and "world" (from the section in the Aesthetics on Don Quixote [p. however."6 Like all good neoidealists in the German tradition. a task he carries out with all the passion of a philosopher who feels. as we learn in the opening sentence of the study. forced him to return to his native Budapest in 1915. In Kantian terms. In the first half of his essay. and instead of magnificent palaces and battlefields we encounter only dusty roads and sordid wayside taverns. in the famous "Heidelberg suitcase. 152). for he defines the novel. Butler has called it) and that influenced Goethe." as E. of course. p. what the German romantics had called a heile Welt: "Happy were the ages when the starry sky was the map of all possible paths-ages whose paths were illuminated by the light of the stars." the chronicle of a world in which the gods are dead (Theory. 88. Lukacs begins his definition of the novel by measuring it against the Greek ideal: the Homeric epic. as the epic of an age of "absolute sinfulness. The outbreak of war. the ancient "noumenal" world has fallen and disintegrated into scattered "phenomena. Lukacs is stating here a romantic theory of consciousness: the farther we travel from the unselfconsciousness of the Greeks. The novel. 86)." resulting in the entrapment of the modern novelistic hero in a form of Kantian subjectivity: "Kant's starry firmament [the noumenal world] now shines only in the dark night of pure cognition. not in class terms. as the theoretical introduction to a larger study (a Habilitationsschrift) of Dostoevsky's novels. .Y Whereas in the Odyssey "a god always plots the hero's paths and always walks 23 ahead of him" (Theory. . when Hitler drove him into exile in Moscow. is less "Marxist" here than Hegel. and countless others." . Lukacs. Homer's world. however. Hegel. In 1918 Lukacs was turned down for a professorship in philosophy at the University of Heidelberg because of his Hungarian citizenship.Lukdcs' Theory of the Novel The Theory of the Novel bears the distinction of being Lukacs' last major pre-Marxist work. the more we suffer from the burden of consciousness itself. 36). Hegel had defined the novel as a "bourgeois. as well as Max Weber's notion of the "ideal type. to be a man in the new world [of phenomena] is to be a solitary" (p. was a sort of earthly paradise or golden age. the work that launched romantic Hellenism in Germany ("the tyranny of Greece over Germany. an epigone. he would write no more literary criticism. solitary adventurers. and in the same year he joined the new Communist party in Budapest. ." whereas modern society is unbounded and infinitely problematic. that he is a latecomer to the world. but in religious ones.
a sort of encyclopedic fairy tale that would absorb all corners of modern reality in its "pan-poetism." Schopenhauer's statement is the most explicit of all: the novel. particularly Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis. in spite of shifting philosophical sympathies. Hermann Broch. would be the "higher and nobler. in an act of self-transcendence (something already transpiring among those hermeneuts and deconstructors who would totally absorb literature into their own philosophical texts). especially from Marxists. and Robert Musil have all created monumental novels of inwardness. our true home (Homer). It is important to stress here. with their lonely artist-heroes. anticipated a time when literature would become so inner and selfconscious that it would actually be absorbed into philosophy. for "world" and outer event (picaresque adventures) to an intense preoccupation. writing after the failed revolutions of 1848 and what he called the "burial of the old Germany. 74). later Hegelian. and thus the movement culminates in the melancholy withdrawal of the protagonist into the totally inner realms of the aesthetic imagination and self-absorbed contemplation.) Beginning as a picaro. Moreover. for instance. 594)10 or what Erich Heller has analyzed as "the artist's journey to the interior" of the self-resulting in "the disinherited mind. In an essay on realism in 1909. he says. marrying into society. an abstract idealist. actual novelistic practice in Germany corroborates these theoretical pronouncements: Thomas Mann. along a "via dolorosa" to the "melancholy of the adult state" (the novel). for instance. The mind or "soul" of the hero expands from a "narrow" one into a "broad" one. p. to found a national theater. whose hero sallies forth. deplores this modern journey to the interior. this time against Flaubert and certain German authors. Hegel. and sensibility (e. just as does the eternal dream-ideal of Homeric Greece. In a highly romantic view of our collective history he states that the route of epic narrative leads from paradise. in fact. in his Marxist works of the 1930s. with its generally positive valorization of inwardness. 85-92). as much as he admired Greek art. One of the most penetrating of these comes from Ferenc Feher." consciousness.24 David H. voice." The obsession with "objectivity"-at first Platonic. one defined by the narrator's subjective style. 593). Lukacs has. and ultimately Marxist-continues to haunt him.. or at least a hero of consciousness. however. Herman Hesse. which are scarcely to be found in such abundance in other traditions.1 Lukacs. Miles mantics. The journey involved is what Hegel describes as "the inwardness of Spirit withdrawing into its own domain" (p. in the process the gods of Mount Olympus are replaced by the inner demons of the modern psyche (Lukacs' term "demonic" is used in Goethe's sense) (pp. envisioned the novel as a form of grand Miirchen. been subjected to rather rigorous critiques on such matters. he had warned of the "morbidly intense inwardness of today's writers. with "mind.g." At the mid-point of this historical trip-whose ends Lukacs designates as "abstract idealism" (Cervantes) and "disillusioned romanticism" (Flaubert)-he places Wilhelm Meister. in spite of his deep aversion to metaphysics. the novelistic hero thus ends up an artist. thus flying in the face of much of German idealism. in Flaubert's Sentimental Education). only to end up. in Flaubert and other moderns. Hegel had said much the same when he pointed out that the hero of the German bildungsroman "may have quarrelled with the world" but in the end "becomes as good a Philistine as all the rest" (p. in Cervantes. Goethe as well. and consciousness. he would again sound the clarion call against modern inwardness. a disillusioned romantic." with their "wish to trace every mood to its innermost roots in the soul" (Soul." When we get to the twentieth century. that Lukacs laments this "inward journey" of the novel. as well as the early short stories of MAann. The view is one that Lukacs would never abandon. and later. In an acute essay. a member of the so-called Budapest School of Marxists that has grown up around Lukacs. the more inner and less outer life it depicted. fully recognized that the novel was a "subjective" epic. however. the German ro- . Feher has sought to correct some of the weaknesses of Lukacs' study by pointing out that the antimodernism and "transcendental homesick- Lukacs proceeds to argue that the novel has progressed from a concern. (Huysmans' A rebours and Rilke's Malte would be examples here. Furthermore. whose sympathies were still very much with the nineteenth century.
the first revolt was directed "against all gods in heaven and earth who did not recognize man's self-consciousness as the highest divinity. in the novels of Tolstoy. Lukacs is here favorably disposed toward it. The romantically ironic narrator.13whereas in Tolstoy there is only a straightforward. by Northrop Frye and other modern critics who see most of Western literature resting on a fundamental "quest-myth. however. far from representing the "melancholy of the adult state. is one of an attempt at "selfabolition of subjectivity" (p." Second. as Feher points out. In place of Olympus there is the secular will of a Robinson Crusoe. and Agamemnon mighty. promoted by that grand opium of the intellectuals. who ultimately arrive at the castle of the holy grail. . Prometheus.12 Following Marx. above all in its newly found sense of time and history.Lukdcs' Theory of the Novel ness" for the gods of Greece are actually forms of false consciousness. Lukacs contrasts the time problems of modern literature with the timeless world of the Greeks: "Homer's heroes do not experience time. omnipotence. Beginning with Don Quixote. the modern novel. elitist. In a word. German idealism." Lukacs characterizes Flaubert's use of time. Lukacs remarks that the novel is generally constructed along the lines of a biography and/or quest-myth (pp. and of his institutions. Much like Auerbach in Mimesis. Feher points out that the revolution against divine authority was actually the first step toward liberating man and revealing to him the countless possibilities for selftransformation. in other words. Moreover. Nestor is always old. it is supported. W. furthermore. Although Lukacs is obviously basing these notions on the German bildungsroman (the open ending of Wilhelm Meister) and the mythic quest Mdrchen of the German romantics (Nov- 25 alis' Heinrich von Ofterdingen. by contrasting it to time in Tolstoy. and what the novel had lost in classical sublimity it had gained in concrete emancipation. with his omniscience. and with such perseverance that by the time of Flaubert's Sentimental Education (1869) it constitutes (in terms of both personal and historical time) a major force in the genre-except. Lukacs is also much interested in the phenomenon of romantic irony in the modern novel. The timeless world of Lukacs' Hector and Odysseus exists totally apart from this historical reality. 121-22). he had come down rather hard on Laurence Sterne's use of romantic irony. Solger. possibilities never even dreamt of in the philosophies of a Hector or an Achilles. F. . in contrast to Lukacs). As Marx stated. For. primarily as a counterbalance to the increasing subjectivity of the genre. epic heroes like Achilles were mere stereotypes. he suggests that in Flaubert there is a multilayered. Furthermore (as even Hegel had understood. is doomed to a never-ending quest. with its circuitous. is its obsession with the problem of time. and hierarchical set of social values." portrays the true humanization of man. epic- . however. and fond detachment from his heroes. where time departs from the novel once more in favor of a new epic "timelessness. of his society. "lyric" sense of time and memory." Feher also demystifies Lukacs' sentimental view of the early Greek Gemeinschaft (community) by pointing out that this society was based not only on a slave economy but also on a rigid. the Theory of the Novel makes at least three instructive and interesting points about the development of the modern novel. Platonic journey). the hero. Following Bergson's insights into the importance of memory for our time sense ("duration"). the insight is useful. tends to function as a sort of substitute for the lost godworld of the Homeric epic.. 77).." he explains. a dimension Lukacs explores with a good deal of ingenuity. acting out divinely preordained roles in an unchanging society.. one much akin to that of life itself (here one thinks of Kafka's Castle. Helen beautiful. unlike his ancestors in medieval romance. time begins to creep into the novel.. 60. it is our common mortality that unveils for us the major political and ethical dimension of life. Although in his earlier Soul and Form (1910). much like his forerunners Friedrich Schlegel and K. in Lukacs' view. Despite its romantic myths. time-removed quality of the world of the gods" (pp. What they experience has the blissful. as Lukacs puts it. First. in fact. crafting his own tools as well as his fate. beyond its biographical pattern and its concern with irony. The overall effect. which appeared a decade later). with reference to his favorite hero. and he welcomes it. 74). for they are virtually "changeless. A third aspect of the modern novel. perhaps still under the influence of Kierkegaard and possibly Hegel.
after writing an elegy to the organic unity of the epic. 58). disappear again. space becomes central in the epic (much as in drama) (Theory. not on "absences. 125). 126-27). The technique of representing it in the novel. generally conceived of as tragic moments of death or near death. "the past either does not exist or is completely present. 52-54). see also p. is very close to that in Auerbach between a multilayered "background" consciousness in the Old Testament and a "foreground" consciousness in the Homeric epic (see pp. preserve. p. as in the epiphany of Prince Andrew on the field at Austerlitz. can become part of us again only if we contemplate its process and its history. establish relations with one another. but the effect on the reader is one of having participated in a lived experience-"the semblance of an organic entity" (Theory. In Tolstoy. 82). has become the real hero of the book (pp. Here again Lukacs is quoting from Soul and Form. for example. Lukacs' discussion of "lyric" time in Flaubert is not all that easy to follow. 126). however. 149). this type is one-dimensional and totally "foregrounded" in the narrative present. that recollected time in Flaubert carries the illusion of the unity of recollected experience." "failures. existing only in the mind and memory of the hero. In Flaubert and other modern novelists. is necessarily one of . p. pointing out that in them "the hero is just one soul and the action merely the longing of that soul" (Soul. Paul de Man.14 Tolstoy's epic-dramatic novels focus. for contemplation of the broken reality somehow creates in the reader "a source from which the fullness of life seems to flow" (Theory. in the very midst of its sad task of contemplating what is constantly vanishing from us forever (the happiest time in Sentimental Education is the recollected moment of standing on the threshold of a village brothel-on the threshold of life). namely Ralph Freedman's The Lyrical Novel (1963). to be sure. I would not agree. Four years earlier Lukacs had defined this genre specifically as the "lyrical novel" and had given as examples La vita nuova and Werther (both mentioned by Freedman as well). 126). isolated from the everyday social world." as Lukacs puts it (Theory. but this lends such novels what Lukacs calls their "lyrical" quality ("lyrical" here having the sense of the German word Erlebnislyrik. however. in effect. Lukacs' second type of time-that of unmediated. but rather on great dramatic moments. according to Lukacs. The unity is totally inner and retrospective." and so forth. 159. epic-dramatic "experience"-is easier to grasp: in contrast to lyric memory. Miles fragmentation. "who have no apparent meaning. however. p. cleverly smuggles this back into the novel again under the guise of a unified sense of time (p. complains that Lukacs. 124-27). a sense of temporal "flow" is created out of the chaos and fragments of reality by the act of remembering (pp. At such moments. also manages to assemble. whereas time is central in the lyrical novel of Flaubert. We think here immediately of Auerbach's analysis of "foregrounded" time in Homer-as in the description of the scar that Odysseus had received in his youth. For what Freedman defines. With these formulations Lukacs is anticipating a major theory of the modern novel. 122). p. fragmented and embedded in Otherness. Memory. and unify these scattered moments. break them off. The notion is profoundly Hegelian: our past life. Moreover. juxtaposition. the poetry of subjective moments) (pp." or "refusals" of time. and discontinuity: "characters appear. pp. the hero catches a sudden glimpse of the essence of life and finds that "his whole previous existence vanishes into nothingness in the face of the experience" (p." as Lukacs states. 104. p. Lukacs' point is that in the lyrical novel the technique of juxtaposition ("the separate fragments of reality lie before us") is very different from the immediate impact of the narrative. 161).26 David H. in true Bergsonian fashion. 124-25). Yet in Tolstoy these moments generally lead not into death but rather back into life and thus remain lost moments. in Virginia Woolf and others. The distinction. as in Flaubert (Theory. as "lyrical" form is precisely what Lukacs is describing when he points out that in Flaubert the epic event has become the "vehicle and symbol of unbounded feeling" on the part of the narrator and that the soul itself. None of dramatic sense of experience. for instance. and would argue that Lukacs is simply asserting. with all of its longings. 31-32 below). where he had emphasized that dramatic tragedy "is the form of the high points of existence" and that the "psychology of tragedy is a science of deathmoments" (pp.
robes. and future time. because he had not been diverted into a purely intellectual sphere. as in the novels of Tolstoy. or even the hinges of a door. the German expressionists. of course. Holderlin. weapons. . Up until now I have ignored Lukacs' considerable debt to Hegel in all of this. In fact. is wrong in his assessment of time in literature.18 a work that has exerted an enormous influence on the German mind from Marx on down through Benjamin." that he "did not write novels" at all. Schiller. multilayered. and the German romantics (as well as in the chiliastic thinking of Lukacs' contemporaries. for more than anyone else he functioned as supreme codifier and mediator of this tradition. and other idealists of the eighteenth century. According to Hegel. that Dostoevsky had "nothing to do with European Romanticism. in other words-with its anxieties about modernism and its positing of a future utopian time-is very much part of the tradition of secularized theological history that we find in Lessing. for example. . etc. Lukacs himself had written a Dostoevskian piece of fiction. door-posts. Kant. accordingly. or a radical leap into a form of millennial consciousness. Schlegel.15 Only when we realize this can we grasp Lukacs' sudden proclamations. but I think it is time to explore some of the affinities so that we can see just how firmly Lukacs is anchored in the German idealist tradition (to the ideological despair of such Marxists as Brecht. for its own sake . for example. 151). if not wrongheaded. In this. Classical tragedy. in which the Angel rebukes those who burn neither hot nor cold. we are back with Lessing. that they are worth quoting at length. Lessing." it is obviously 27 under the sign of this same Angel." With this notion. and that he "belonged to a new world. and Auerbach. he had castigated the modern world in Manichaean fashion and then allowed his hero to commit suicide-with his Bible opened to Revelations iii. through the voice of an expressionist poet. including his friend Ernst Bloch in The Spirit of Utopia ). Slaughtering oxen and preparing them for food. as in the novels of Dostoevsky. Schiller. pouring wine." Although such things are of indifferent interest to our world. . sceptre. talk at great length and in great detail about external things. Adorno. Lukacs remains faithful to this Hegelian vi- . in fact." and fragmented.1 Behind Hegel himself. Goethe. Hegel cites Homer's "numerous descriptions of external things. and lyrical reflexivity: either a return to Homeric narration. who also tells us of an age to come in which "there shall be time no longer. just as in our time farmers. an imaginary dialogue in an apocalyptic vein called "The Poor in Spirit" (1912). It would be easy to argue that Lukacs. Holderlin. bed. is an occupation of the heroes themselves. was very much concerned with the question of time (as opposed to its genuine lack of importance in the Homeric epic). 1054-55). on a higher level. and Lukacs' conflation of dramatic and epic time is frequently confusing. that there can exist only two paths that will lead us out of our modern obsession with time. and others. inwardness.Lukdcs' Theory of the Novel these moments can embody the real duree that lies at the heart of the lyrical novel (Theory. "lyric. in certain respects. and were valued as something in which man could take pride . on the last page of his study. stand Winckelmann.17but in this context I think we are justified in concentrating on Hegel. in a sort of ricorso. Yet it should be pointed out that such misconceptions are often due to the heavy influence on him of the triadic historical schemes of German idealism: ancient time (be it Homer's or Sophocles') was unified. modern time is inner. The sections of the Aesthetics on Greek society are so important. When Lukacs invokes Dostoevsky in his treatise as the forerunner of a "world to come. The first point to make is that Lukacs' lifelong image of ancient Athens as an ideal society is taken directly from Hegel's Aesthetics (1820). boots and spurs" (pp. Schiller. Homer "lingers over their description because all these objects ranked alike. just two years before he began the Theory of the Novel. will be unified once again. p." pointing out that Homer dwells less on natural scenes (as found in the modern novel) than on descriptions of such objects as "a staff. Lukacs implies. or as our horsemen can expatiate on their stables and steeds. As proof." Lukacs' entire discussion of time. Homeric man felt at home in the world and enjoyed a true village sense of being and belonging-not only to the community but also to external objects around him. as well as to the epistemological despair of a number of Anglo-American empiricists).16.
1077) and. a longing for that thing most opposite to ourselves: that great holy simplicity" which emerges from "the birthpangs of an evergrowing awareness" (p. to whom every cupboard has many stories to tell about what it has seen and heard" (Soul." the romantics viewed the Middle Ages as a "golden age" (Soul. in 1963. for example. Miles rative and Engels' comments on Balzac's realism. despite its later Marxist overtones. Hegel's notion that the Homeric epic portrayedand somehow embodied a "totality of objects" (p." portraying a rich "totality of objects". he singles out the nineteenth-century writer Theodor Storm for his depictions of "simple rooms stuffed full of objects inherited from grandparents or even more remote ancestors. and comes up with his central distinction between true epic "narration" (Balzac's living portrayals of Paris) and shallow surface "description" or "reportage" (Zola's and naturalism's catalogs of dead furniture). when it was first made. Lukacs himself noted this in 1909 (although he would later conveniently forget the point).20 Behind the Hegelian and Lukacsian image of Greece there lies. . pp. Hegel concludes. In the Theory of the Novel. unmediated relationship to things resulted largely from his preindustrial modes of production. "the production of goods is so split up by factories and workshops that we come to regard material goods and all the various steps in their production as something quite beneath us" (p. Nowadays. and spears were all their own work. was a "totality" on a mystical order. each encounter in their lives became a wedding. helmets. Two aspects of this nostalgic myth had been particularly important to the German tradition. as we shall see). p.21 The hidden dangers of an ideology and/or sion throughout his career. in contrast to our present-day "coffee and brandy. adding to them Lessing's insight into the dynamic nature of nar- . derives philosophically from the romantic belief-active in Hegel." The ancients "killed and roasted their own food. Holderlin. milk. swords. a romantic and sentimental myth-that of the pastoral or golden age of arts and crafts. and they made the utensils they needed: ploughs. and wine-were simple to prepare. it is an organic-and therefore intrinsically meaningful-concrete totality" and that Homer of the blessedly existent totality of life" "sings (pp. It assumes that the world. Odysseus carpentered his huge marriagebed himself". again and again. 65. p. 67). breastplates. "Agamemnon's sceptre was a family staff. As Lukacs himself pointed out in an early essay. that. constituted the "Rousseauism of the artistic consciousness . the notion behind this myth is Platonic. one in which men "could find their other half in every tree and flower. Lukacs can write the same thing about Tolstoy's realism. Lukacs. he singles out Solzhenitsyn for his realism of "Homeric breadth" and his Tolstoyan "totality of objects. and even the famous shield of Achilles." Life at this time was a "symphony which rang out from the totality of people and events as though every separate thing were an element of the whole" (Soul. an "organic unity" of being. asserting that. to society as well as to works of art. Homeric man's unalienated. second. 1054). shields. In 1936. in one of his earliest essays on realism. for instance. Both terms apply. is "forged" by Hephaestus in front of our eyes (p. stating that he is a "true-born son of Homer. Hegel points out. somewhat confusingly." Thus. once upon a time. and Schelling-in the existence of an ultimate unity or mystical en kai pan ("one and all"). with the important difference that Hegel's "classicism" becomes Lukacs' "realism" (a tactic employed by Auerbach as well. 92). 58. of course. In 1909. 55). we learn. as Hegel observes. they broke in their own horses. 64). hewn by an ancestor to be inherited by his descendants. because of their "nostalgia for craftsmanship. picks up these suggestions. 261). or they were at least familiar with their manufacture. for examplehoney. This nostalgia.""' Hegel also provided Lukacs with some keen (proto-Marxist) insights into the reasons why this early Greek state of affairs could have existed at all: it was primarily due to the specific type of economy involved. . however." which come alive "in a rainbow of a thousand colors in the eye of the native. the romantic notion that there existed. which conjure up at once the thousand intermediaries which their preparation requires. he stated. His food and drink. In fact.28 David H. "as for the community. and similarly. during his Marxist period. from the idealists down to the neo-Marxists: first. in his later Marxist writings. 62). the concept of "totality" in Lukacs.
despised Lawrence). Being. what Peter Gay has termed the "hunger for wholeness" in the Weimar Republic. By this I mean not merely that ancient Greece was a slaveholding. "the stones in the womb of the earth and the planets at celestial heights were still concerned with the fate of men. imperialist society-a fact willfully overlooked by German idealism-but that in a deeper sense an organicist ideology tends to go hand in hand with retrograde political yearnings -with." he states. by placing it in the same camp with the views of D. Wilhelm Meister. their "circle whose closed nature was the transcendental essence of their life" (Theory. primarily in a milieu of craftsmen. In Derrida's eyes. in the novel-form itself. comes uncomfortably close to Karl Popper's use of the term "closed society" to designate a totalitarian ideology. of course. are delusive myths. Lucien Goldmann. Theodor Adorno.Lukdcs' Theory of the Novel aesthetic of "organicism" and "totality" are several. And again: "if peasants and seamen were the past masters of storytelling. Traces of the storyteller cling to the story the way the hand- . according to Leskov. and Erich Auerbach. it is. for instance. bourgeois Europe before 1848." and Lukacs' rearguard attempts at reconstructing an authentic epic consciousness embody. their time for speaking with men is past. New Mexico. For one thing. H. that very "regression of the European mind" which he is so at odds to combat. but the result is the same: a romanticization of agrarian. but today both the heavens and the earth have grown indifferent. Ostensibly reflections on the nineteenth-century Russian writer Nicolai Leskov. 33. all metaphors of totality." Moreover: "in genuine storytelling the hand supports what is expressed with its gestures. metaphori- 29 cally." and Terry Eagleton has indicted Lukacs' entire metaphysic of "wholeness.22 The most radical critique of organicism-one that could easily be leveled against Lukacs-has undoubtedly come from Derrida. has followed up this insight and criticized Lukacs for his use of the term "organic. the term "organicism" has "long since passed into the service of the ideologies of Irrationalism. preindustrial England and. Equally obsessed with a romantic anticapitalism. the medieval artisan class was its university. who has argued at length and persuasively that much of Western metaphysics is based on a sheer fiction -the nostalgia for some sort of lost unity or ideal form of consciousness." Moreover. Lawrence. Lukacs."23Lukacs locates the order elsewhere-in Homeric Greece. or in Tolstoy's or Dostoevsky's Russiabut the idea is the same. Again and again in the essay. organicism. Adorno has complained along these lines not only of Lukacs' sentimentalized concept of Volk or Gemeinschaft but also of the social Darwinism inherent in his obsession with decadence-both points of view being shared by the Nazis as well. If this sounds vaguely reminiscent of Lukacs. the visionary landscapes of both thinkers are remarkably similar (and should be studied further. Among Lukacs' successors in the Hegelian tradition four in particular stand out. despite their individual differences: Walter Benjamin. the metaphysical "homesickness" for the "closed" society of the original Greeks. for Benjamin not only pays open homage to the Theory of the Novel but also cites with particularly warm approval Lukacs' special notion of the novel as "a form of transcendental homelessness. Despite the ideological differences." or organic totality. and so on. for instance. . the study actually constitutes a short romantic hymn to the anonymous village storyteller of yore (as opposed to the alienated novelist of modern times). Benjamin's major essay on the novel is entitled "The Storyteller" (1936). as already mentioned. the hard truth is that the only reality is the reality of their indefinite deferment and unavailability-what Derrida calls "writing. . in Balzac's progressive." Paul de Man. 61). Benjamin emphasizes the similarity between a storyteller and a craftsman: "A great storyteller will always be rooted in the people. which later led to Nazism. pp. ironically. as "perfect examples" of the novel. and Sentimental Education! In fact. none other than Don Quixote. . Benjamin points to the epic tales of the Middle Ages. he also furnishes. he even quotes from Leskov as if he were trying to imitate the opening of the Theory of the Novel: once upon a time. As Adorno points out." Where Lukacs had pointed to Homer as the ultimate source of epic realism. Lawrence composed powerful critiques of modern industrial society and possessed a "deep-seated commitment to an organic order-variously located in Italy. artisan culture.
Adorno invoked Brecht's "bad old days" (against Lukacs' good old ones). Joyce." It should be added. "arose in the age of individual disintegration. nonalienated age-most notably in The Dialectic of the Enlightenment (1947) but also in his important essay on the novel: "Narrative Perspective in the Contemporary Novel" (1954). not for the sake of Brecht's bright Marxist future. and Kafka. more complex ground than with Benjamin. much like the romantic Rilke." And last of all. Second. historical time rather than being "embedded in the great inscrutable course of the world" (be this natural or eschatological). "hygienically" and systemically represses death. but.. by which he meant a dialectics devoid of any Hegelian optimism about attaining syntheses." he summed up. For in several of Adorno's writings there are strong traces of a Lukacsian nostalgia for a nonindustrial. but I think it is possible to single out at least four major points (only the last of which really moves beyond Lukacs).30 David H. like both Benjamin and Brecht. Adorno took refuge in the philosophical stoicism of what he called "negative" dialectics (what Lukacs sardonically referred to in the Theory of the Novel [p." adding. he genuinely and enthusiastically supported a Brechtian commitment to a "technically reproducible art" for the masses. perceptively. and by "perspective" he was referring primarily to the intolerably subjective narrative stance of these . the novel. "in which the deathbed has turned into a throne toward which the people press through the wide-open doors of the death house . The true tale is thus anchored in what "Schiller called the epoch of naive poetry. First." Third. and Horkheimer."26 Yet. Death used to appear. a group that notoriously feuded with Lukacs although they ultimately derived from the same German idealist tradition. the rise of the modern novel reflects the demise of the ancient "tribe" or "community" and the concomitant rise of middle-class solitude. without totally abandoning a romantic nostalgia for what he called the magical cult "aura" of medieval religious art. he saw quite plainly that "the meaningful times for whose return the early Lukacs yearned. "an attic fire in the Latin Quarter is more important than a revolution in Madrid. possessed as much alienation . In fact.. By "contemporary" novel Adorno actually meant the novels of Proust. . Adorno did not entirely escape Lukacs' version of the Hegelian dialectic. and in particular in his major geois age. he was of a younger generation than Lukacs and (perhaps partly for this reason) did not yearn for a return to nineteenth-century literature. despite his studied pessimism and "negation" of all romanticisms. Benjamin's sympathies were -like those of Lukacs-very much with preindustrial culture. Miles essay on the novel. however. 22] as "Grand Hotel Abyss"). Along with Marcuse. the modern novel furnishes sheer "information" (Lukacs' naturalistic reportage) to be consumed rather than wisdom or counsel to be remembered.. for instance. we enter upon even more ambivalent." It is impossible for me to reconstruct Benjamin's entire argument here (he was fond of recalling that there were forty-nine levels of meaning in every passage of the Torah. as the bour- prints of the potter cling to the clay vessel. "with the same regularity as the Reaper does in the processions that pass around the cathedral clock at noon. . with its positive valorization of the past. longs for those ancient times when "dying was a public process in the life of the individual and a most exemplary one. that "only as lost conditions do they become glamorous." In this study. for the sake of what Adorno called "the non-existent alternative. the novel is totally confined to local. think of the medieval pictures. Fromm. and his own writings compete in complexity).25 Adorno's philosophical elusiveness is notorious: on the one hand." he writes. Adorno was a member of the prestigious Frankfurt School for Social Research. Much like a character from one of his favorite Beckett plays." "The cult of communal epochs." he concludes. unlike earlier tales. also wrote his For in the same year-1936-he much celebrated essay on filmmaking and photography: "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.24 When we come to Adorno. Benjamin was not nearly so hostile to modernism as was Lukacs. To the modern reader. Benjamin. Yet on the whole. that although Benjamin's essay mirrors much of Lukacs (not only the Theory of the Novel but also the essay "Narrate or Describe?")." To avoid such romantic traps himself. much more darkly. Gide.
. Goldmann starts off with the materialist assumption that art. Mimesis. Kafka's narrated monologues). however. states Auerbach."28 But again Hegel was there before him: Homer's epithets. one in which modern "exchange value" is questing for original "use value"-a process that reflects (as a "homology") the nostalgia of our market economy for the original barter system described by Marx. and Hegel. as part of the superstructure. These structures are comparable (although not their content). and probably most critics would agree with him. whose study of realism in Western literature. reflects the economic substructure of society. however. and each tells us something about the other (just as the religious millennialism of the Theory of the Novel tells us something about Lukacs' later conversion to the political and social millennialism of Lenin). 53). "The Scar of Odysseus. despite his infinite adeptness at navigating between philosophical extremes. portrays ahistorical "being. In his famous first chapter. Goldmann reads it as an economic allegory. the cult of objects in the modern novel (particularly in the nouveau roman) corresponds to the fetishism of commodities under capitalism. had become a negative world in which "alienation" transmogrifies all human qualities into what is simply more "lubricating oil for the smooth performance of the social machinery. Goldmann's structuralism is most fruitful in uncovering the deep continuities in Lukacs' own problematic quest: between the image of the alienated hero in the Theory of the Novel and. that Homer "cleaves fast to the external world" (p. ones in which the heroes. Yet I would argue here that a more detailed look at Auerbach reveals close affinities with the same Hegelian tradition that informs so much of the Theory of the Novel. and he concentrates above all on the problematic modern hero." focusing on a total "foregrounding" of objects (as opposed to Old Testament narrative. the effort is obviously misguided. (Why was medieval nominalism. has already told us that Homer's heroes "do not experience time" (Theory. Hegel tells us. What Adorno and Benjamin 31 characterized as general middle-class solitude becomes in Goldmann the radical solitude of private enterprise. the concept of the alienated "collective hero" of History and Class Consciousness (1923)-the proletariat. The problem with this simple equation and one-to-one mapping.27 Lucien Goldmann. Lukacs. had "capitulated" to reality by abolishing aesthetic distance entirely (a finer version of Lukacs' and Benjamin's modern "reportage" swallowing old-time "narration"). and the outline should by now be familiar. Thus he did Lukacs and Hegel one better by finding modern novels not just "godless" and "middle-class" but also "negative" epics. for instance. 3). Joyce's interior monologues. Homer's narrative." Auerbach sketches what amounts to a phenomenology of the Homeric mind. although without their eschatological frameworks. pp. The last theorist I should like to mention is Erich Auerbach. Adorno's underlying pessimism about modernism-which begins for him with the Enlightenment-puts him in virtually the same camp as Lukacs and Benjamin. after writing an appreciation of Lukacs' Soul and Form in 1950. 1083). 121. Paul de Man claims that Auerbach's study "is grounded in a more traditional view of history" than is that of Lukacs (p. furthermore. his main intent is to interpret Lukacs the Hegelian Idealist as a thinly disguised allegory of what is really Lukacs the Marxist Materialist. for instance. everyday characters. The narrative perspective had become so intensely subjective. as well as the most ordinary. have been "liquidated" by excessive Reflexion. but it does demonstrate how close the structure of Lukacs' Hegelianism was to that of his later Marxism. originally appeared in 1946. In ideological terms. In this. devoted an entire essay to the Theory of the Novel in 1962 (see n. accordingly. in fact (we think of Proust's private remembrances. is that it cannot possibly incorporate phenomena as complex and overdetermined as art and economy.Lukdcs' Theory of the Novel writers. which features "becoming" and "background"). Auerbach also points out that Homeric epithets speak of "a need for an externalization of phenomena in terms perceptible to the senses. not a result of capitalism too?) In the end. Thus. Whereas Lukacs viewed the hero's quest as a search for the lost world of Homeric totality. The novel's subject matter. that the novel. agrarian culture. in Adorno's eyes. 127)." One does not have to be a close reader to get the point here: unalienated man for Adorno obviously inhabits a preindustrial.
Again and again we discover that Auerbach's remarks on Homeric "realism" are essentially those of Hegel on Homer's "classicism. "the decline of our world" (p." To take just one example: Shakespeare's works. in the case of the birth of Christ and the Adoration. . becomes "realistic. . for example. banquets. the following comment by Auerbach: for the Homeric heroes. louts. embodies "a mixture of the sublime with the low" that is "rooted in popular tradition and indeed first of all in the cosmic drama of the story of Christ" (pp. enjoying their savory present. as the veritable downfall of the West: for him. adventures and perils. 27-28 above) to spot the striking similarities. for instance. Between battles and passions."29 I would agree with Wellek and would argue that it is precisely this Hegelian dimension that brings Auerbach closer to Lukacs' type of historicism. because of this refusal to distinguish between differing historical modes of realism. daily life" (p. 487-88). however. and fleas." as he put it in his book title of 1929). we are straight back with Lukacs and the apocalyptic close of the Theory of the Novel. a present which sends strong roots down into . if not outright contradiction. attributed the passing of classical Greek realism to the rise of Christianity. It is time for summing up. and washing days-in order that we may see the heroes in their ordinary life . of spirit with matter) for his own definition of realism. Auerbach clearly bemoans this journey to the interior. but when analyzed more closely. Woolf mirrors. athletic contests.32 David H. Auerbach has basically borrowed Hegel's formal definition of classicism (as a mixture of the lofty with the lowly. 10)." Indeed. Hegel argues. 594). is "unified. for him. Auerbach's realism is indeed non-Hegelian. the sublime and the everyday: "alongside the loftiest regions there are fools. are characterized by a dynamic juxtaposition of kings and clowns. palaces and shepherds' cots. between this existential side and what he calls Auerbach's "Hegelian historicism. 487). just as. Yet where Hegel notes a profound tension and even disparity in Shakespeare (as well as in the Gospels) between the high and the low (as opposed to their unity in the Homeric epic). Auerbach informs us. Yet a closer look tells us slightly otherwise. taverns. Auerbach comes up with essentially the same commentary: Shakespeare. Similarly. there are oxen and asses. Lukacs. 1003). display a "fragmentation of exterior action" and a hopeless dissolving of reality "into multiple and multivalent reflections of consciousness" (pp." Yet he also shrewdly points out that there is in Auerbach's realism a genuine tension. carters. . in particular to the profound inwardness of the Gospels. Miles anchor the work-"Dante as Poet of the Earthly World." Consider. as a thor- "seize and place before us an essential quality of the particular in its concrete appearance" (p. Auerbach hymns only their "realistic unity. the date merely shifts even closer to the present day-to 1927. . and he calls this side of Auerbach "existential." via the strategy of figural interpretation (whereby a previous reality is invoked to . "delight in physical existence is everything. As Rene Wellek has remarked. it reveals the same eschatological structure of idealism that is so much more evident in Lukacs' treatise. even ahistorical. I assume. Auerbach's view of history may seem to be more traditional than that of Lukacs." Even the Divine Comedy. that Auerbach appears to jettison historical schemes altogether in his quest to uncover a continuous "realism" throughout three thousand years of Western literary history. to be exact. And Auerbach? For him. Auerbach often must go to extreme lengths to demonstrate that all. he means. as we know. in the end. manger and straw" (p. which -referring to levels both rhetorical and socialhe simply terms "the mixed style. chamber-pots. Lukacs located the downfall in the inwardness of Flaubert. in its stress on the constant truths of everyday life. Hegel. and the inwardness of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse: Woolf's novels. With these words. and their highest aim is to make that delight perceptible to us. 490). When de Man states that Auerbach takes a more "traditional" view of history than does Lukacs. quite simply. Whereas Hegel had welcomed this inward turn of consciousness as part of the course of history. 284. We need merely glance at Hegel's own commentary on Homer (see pp. they show us hunts. This can be seen most readily in the way all three historians approach the problem of the "end" of realism.
51-59. which Tolstoy constantly longed for but never acquired. Literature and the Inhuman (New York: Atheneum. in their own ways.30 The universal principles of Lukacs and the unique visions of Tolstoy would never meet. pp. 93. 1972). the two halves. like so many other thinkers in the Hegelian tradition. I would add. meditating on the myth of the two halves in the Symposium. "Introduction aux premiers ecrits de Georges Lukacs. is best characterized as just such a Socratic "philosophy of longing": "He was a sentimental man. 325-40." Novel." Tolstoy himself. Whereas Tolstoy's genius lay in fastening on the infinite variety of the world and perceiving how "each given object is uniquely different from all others. together with Benjamin. The Theory of the Novel (Cambridge: MIT Press. 2 Wellek. pp. pp." Journal of the History of Ideas. Fredric Jameson. Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism (New York: Oxford Univ. xi (Frankfurt: Fischer. 1975). 1961). and the two were. E. Susan Sontag. 150. and Auerbach. Bela Kiralyfalvi. 1974). 411. attempted to reach out toward each other (Lukacs actually wrote one of his finest essays on Tolstoy)." in Noten zur Literatur. 175-85. 1969). Agnes Heller et al. in context. 1971). Giinter Rohrmoser. was the complete hedgehog-yet a hedgehog who tried. University of Virginia Charlottesville Notes which refers. "Erpresste Vers6hnung. as one of our major critics and theoreticians in the German idealist tradition. Marx. Grimm (Frankfurt: Athenaum. pp. "Lukacs' Theory of the Novel. p.'s Theorie des Romans. "in the apparent variety of the bits and pieces which compose the furniture of the world. ed. one that could perceive. "No love will ever make one out of two" (Soul. Engels. Seipel. Concepts of Criticism (New Haven: Yale Univ. Manfred Durzak. may err in the Theory of the Novel in the direction of what I would call "surplus metaphysics. 195 (1962). Fritz Raddatz. Adorno. J. Perhaps one of the best ways to assess his achievement is to refer to Isaiah Berlin's famous study of Tolstoy. The Hedgehog and the Fox. 1972). much as in the classical myth of Platonic longing in the Symposium. and Levin. Press. as Lukacs once commented. 160-206. II (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Kunzer. 26-48. Lucien Goldmann. Soul and Form (Cambridge: MIT Press. to Socrates. "Toward a Sociology of the Novel. L. Sung-Wan Ban. Against Interpretation (New York: Dell. complementary. Das Verhiltnis der Asthetik Georg Lukdcs' zur deutschen Klassik und zu Thomas Mann (Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Thomas Mann." in Berlin's words. R. Lehrstiick Lukdcs (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. 1963). Paul de Man. Matzner. 41." Basis. ultimately. Language and Silence: Essays on Language. 220-27. is from Georg Lukacs. Press.Lukdcs' Theory of the Novel oughgoing Hegelian idealist. of relating everything in the 33 world to a central. pp." a deep and underlying unity. "Literatur und Gesellschaft. 1974). Marxism and Form (Princeton: Princeton Univ. 26 (1965). 6 (Winter 1973). 25480. 152. 3961 The first quotation. pp. to a "universal explanatory principle. and without success. 782. 82-92. is the necessary and healthy sign. 1967). 1970)." Lukacs' talents lay in the opposite direction: he had the ability.. in which he sets up a typology whereby the hedgehog "knows one big thing" and the fox "knows many things. Georg Lukacs (Hamburg: Rowohlt. "Dermoderne Roman: Bemerkungen zu G. p. The Aesthetics of Gyorgy Lukacs (Princeton: Princeton Univ." in Deutsche Romantheorien. 1960). 1977). 348. but the longing itself. all-embracing system. The second quotation is from Lukacs. but a fox who constantly strove (and failed) to become a hedgehog-particularly in the chapters on the philosophy of history in War and Peace. "Brief an Dr. Press. but. Bahr and R. Georg Lukacs (New York: Ungar.. 92-93). Press." Gesammelte Werke. Graham Good. 1971). Press. to become a political fox (cf. again and again. Lukacs' own position. Mann's . 3 The most important studies of Lukacs' literary criticism that have appeared so far are: Peter Demetz. p. was obviously a fox." but he still ranks. 4 Adorno. 1971). George Steiner." Temps modernes. 1977). his would-be conversion to Marxism-Leninism in 1918). by contrast. as Berlin points out. George Lukacs (New York: Viking. 1968). with all its strengths and weaknesses. 1 (1970). and a dialectician"and so he was. and the Poets (Chicago: Chicago Univ. pp. George Lichtheim. 1970). Die Seele und das Leben: Studien zum friihen Lukacs (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Lukacs. ed.
informs us that Lukacs' "insistence on the need for totality" is a "definitely post-Hegelian element" (p." No. Georg Lukacs (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. Dr. 1970). Press. ironic. in 1922. Lukacs and Heidegger (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Lukacs himself openly admits to taking the term "totality" from Hegel (Studies. "Is the Novel Problematic? A Contribution to the Theory of the Novel. Chs. Lucien Goldmann. 980-92. 54. Mann pleaded successfully for Lukics' political asylum in Vienna (Lukacs was to leave for Moscow the following year). 15 These two paths have since been explored by Thomas Mann. although it also ties in with his earlier interest in Kierkegaard. Mann's description of the modern novel as "creative consciousness. 47-74. '8 The Aesthetics was first published posthumously. p. Solzhenitsyn (Cambridge: MIT Press. and I have done so in my article "The Picaro's Journey to the Confessional: The Changing Image of the Hero in the German Bildungsroman. 36-49. but the notion of an informing (subjective) consciousness in the novel is central to both. he met Lukics for the first and last time. 1092. 16 See. 40-52. For more on Lukacs' concept of totality." in The Philosophical Foru)im. as "On Poverty of Spirit. xvii. see Essays and Aphorisms (Baltimore: Penguin.. 1964). 371-85). Vol. pp. ix-xi. refer to the HegelianLukacsian tradition. Kiralyfalvi." Telos. 1975). W. had defined the novel as a "comic. For Mann's view." New Germanz Critique. 84-88. Aesthetics. 147-72. Parkinson. 8The concept of "absolute sinfulness" Lukacs borrows from Fichte's Characteristics of the Present Age (1806). in which he plays off the spiritualists Dostoevsky and Schiller against the sensualists Tolstoy and Goethe. 1947]). "The Last Phase of Romantic Anti-Capitalism: Lukacs' Response to the War. or "totality. for a recent example. pp. 1948). p. ed. Laurence Lerner's "The Triumph of Scylla: Lukacs' Theory of Realism. whereas Lukacs is referring to the hero. 14 See Lukacs' similar comments on the collapse of time in the drama in Soul and Form. 186 et passim). 1971). x [Frankfurt: Fischer. Hegel. italics mine). see Wimsatt and Brooks's Literary Criticism: A Short History (New York: Vintage-Random. Wezel had used it in 1780 to define the genre of the novel in the introduction to his own Hermann und Ulrike. 11 June 1971. Goethe. In actuality. Essays in the History of Ideas (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. and by George Steiner." together with its privileging of the symbol." Encounter. 938. For Lukacs on the "pan-poetism" of the Romantics. in his essay "Goethe and Tolstoy" (1922. 9 On Kant's and Schlegel's terminology for differentiating the ancients from the moderns (Schiller's "naive" and "sentimental"). plays a major role in the aesthetics of the Goethezeit and actually culminates in Hegel. but it was originally delivered as a series of lectures in Berlin in 1820. 153. a fanatical Communist and Jesuit Jew. see his still . 11 See Goethe's "Maximen und Reflexionen. bourgeois. whose Tolstoy or Dostoevsky (1959) is openly indebted to Lukacs' Theory of the Novel. On the Budapest School. ix-xi. Mann's chapter on "Burgerlichkeit" in The Reflections of anl Unpolitical Man (1918) opens with praise for Lukics' essay "The Bourgeois Way of Life and Art for Art's Sake" in Soul and Formi. 1977). 1967). mounts his theory of allegory and the luminous fragment as a sort of dialectical counterpart to this dominant notion of the symbol and the organic whole in German idealist aesthetics. and in 1929 in an open letter to the Austrian chancellor. 3 . J. in the Magic Mountain (1924) he painted a (distorted) portrait of Lukacs in the figure of Naphta. whose ideas on the coming "Kingdom of God" closely resemble those of Lukacs in his 1912 essay "Von der Armut am Geiste" (trans. in Gesammrelte Werke. trans. esp. 151). in Essays of Three Decades [New York: Knopf. R. the subjective sense of memory in Flaubert is close to that of Proust (p. 165. 1977). 10 Erich Kahler made use of this insight of Hegel's in The Inward Turn of Narrative (Princeton: Princeton Univ. I am indebted to both Marianne Hirsch and Michael Ryan for helping me rethink and reformulate Lukacs' complex ideas on time here. and so forth. which is central to any understanding of his aesthetics. S-eipel. Miles untranslated essay "Die Kunst des Romans" (1940. in his Origin of German Tragic Drama (London: New Left Books. between 1913 and 1922 Mann visited Lukics' parents in Budapest several times. F. p. 1960]). of course. C. and interest in Lukacs (who was ten years younger) was particularly strong in Mann's earlier years: important parts of Death in Venice (1912) are taken from a chapter on platonic love ("Longing and Form") in Soul and Form7 (1911). 15 (1973). however. Benjamin. 49 (Aug. Chs.34 David H. T. For Schopenhauer. 14). Moreover. 49. H. 1973). Press. Studies in European Realism (New York: Grosset. 1970). p. 141-43. 12 For the points made in this paragraph see Ferenc Feher. 48. in 1835." PMLA. 89 (1974). pp. p. De Man. is referring to the author. see Arthur Lovejoy. 19 See Lukacs." or lower-class. see Soul and Form. 6 See Ferenc Feher. Knox (Oxford: Oxford Univ. of California Press. incidentally. for some reason. Hegel. 17 On the German idealist tradition. she does not. see Lukacs himself in the Times Literary Supplement. 1977). 1977. 7 On this general point see G. The journey from epic to novelistic consciousness in general is also traced by Marthe Robert in The Old and the New: From Don Quixote to Kafka (Berkeley: Univ. which draws liberally (without saying so) on the Hegelian-Lukacsian tradition by pointing out that the novel is postepic. was not the first to use the term biirgerliche Epopiie (which Knox translates as "popular epic"). 158-59. pp. epic in his 1742 preface to Joseph Andrews. pp. the will to Ganzheit. of course. in Vienna." however. And Fielding. Ch. for example. see G. and Lovejoy. M. 10 (Winter 1977). prosaic. 20-21. :3 As Lukacs points out in his 1962 preface to Theory of the Novel. is taken from Merezhkovsky. p.
see Fritz Raddatz. Sammons. pp. published in Marx and Engels. that the problem of a nostalgia for an unmediated. see his letter to MargaretHarkness in 1888. 1977). 26 See ed. Hegel. 117-37. 191. 1974). Eliot's "dissociationof sensibility. 57-63. As Rene Wellek has reminded us. p. 30 The Hedgehog and the Fox (New York: Simon. p. pp. On Literature and Art. "Der holzerne Eisenring: Die moderne Literatur zwischen zweierlei Asthetik: Lukacs und Adorno. 1973). 21 See Lukacs' comments on the Romantics' use of this term (Soul. I (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research. 1. . L." Kenyon Review. it derives ultimately from Plato and Aristotle and carries on down through Schiller. and Susan Buck-Morss. 32 (1977). and the Frankfurt Institute (New York: Free Press-Mac- millan. Ch. as "Narrate or Describe?"-in Lukacs. 35 24 For both essays by Benjamin-the one on Leskov and the other on "The Work of Art"-see his Illuiniations (New York: Schocken. Left Books. in Barthes and Foucault. 616-17). "Dialectics without Identity. and Minima Moralia (London: New Left Books. 1957). 1953). 83-111. 61-72. 1970). 245. Walter Benjamin. S. The Origin of Negative Dialectics: Theodor W. It should be noted. 2 See "Erzahlen oder beschreiben?" (1936)-trans. pp. 157. 236.Lukdcs' Theory of the Novel Martin Jay. 36-37." Merkur. 1923-1950 (Boston: Little. Concepts. 48). in different forms. 31 (1977). Baxandall and S. 1973). however. "The New Criticism: Pro and Contra. and Noten zur Literatur. 44. Writer and Critic (London: Merlin. p. Literary Sociology and Practical Criticism 1973). 178."Heidegger's "Being." 27 For Adorno's essay see Noten zur Literatur. p. and Marx to T. Louis: Telos. 1976). see Studies. 29See Wellek. kamp. See also Jeffrey L. For Lukacs' comments on Lessing. 217- 53. esp. 1977). pp. 28Auerbach. 3-4. 22 See Adorno. 1970). 23 Eagleton. 25 On the Frankfurt School. 1958). p. 28-44. Asthetische Theorie (Frankfurt: Suhr- Negative Dialectics (New York: Seabury. I am very grateful to Michael Jones for alerting me to these particular passages in Adorno. organic mode of existence is an enormously complicated one and obviously transcendsNazism. The problematic notion can also be found. 299-307. Mimesis (New York: Anchor-Doubleday. Morawski (St. Press. p. For two excellent studies of Adorno's complex aesthetics. pp. Criticism and Ideology (London: New bach's Special Realism. 4 ." and to the agrarianism of the Southern New Critics (Wellek. as well as his "Auer- (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. for Engels' comments on Balzac. iii. see Martin Jay. 16 (1954). "The Concept of Totality in Lukacs and Adorno. 152." Critical Inquiry." Telos. p. Adorno. 114-16. 1968). II.
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